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John Marquez

On October 29, 2008

  • Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice Program Director Kristi Laughlin (left) consoles Rev. Deborah Lee, who cries while sharing a story about an undocumented woman being held in the West County Detention Center in Pinole Saturday. Janae Harris / The Advocate

Long-time Richmond City Council member John Marquez is dusting off his election hat, and throwing himself into the mix again this November.

Currently serving as vice mayor of Richmond, Marquez's term expires in January and he is looking to retain his seat on the Richmond City Council.

Originally appointed in 1985, he was the first Latino to serve on the Richmond City Council.

Marquez first got involved in organization and administration work at Contra Costa College, where he co-founded the Latino Club in 1969, and was involved in the formation of the La Raza studies department.

Marquez said together with his club members, they questioned the college about their lack of Latino faculty and they were involved in the decision to hire the college's first Hispanic professor, Al Zuniga.

Still an adjunct professor at CCC, Marquez said his goals are "to bring jobs, to bring companies that hire people to Richmond, making sure that they stay in Richmond."

Marquez brings 18 years of experience on the city council, as well as his experience as vice mayor, where he takes the place of the Mayor Gayle McLaughlin whenever she is not available.

"When I worked for the city, I saw the need for jobs, the need for public safety, health care and education," Marquez said. "I was able to promote harmony and goodwill, to bring a community together that for a long time has been fractionalized racially and ethnically."

—Francisco Rendon

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